GQ Rounds Up the Best Beds for a Great Night’s Sleep

Sleep is an important part of life. It can boost almost every aspect of recovery, from muscle recovery and immune function to memory and focus. That’s why getting 40 winks in the best bed possible is so crucial to your overall well-being.

But choosing the right mattress isn’t just about comfort — it’s also about support, durability, temperature regulation and motion transfer. A good mattress can help prevent back, neck and joint pain, irritability, fatigue and even chronic conditions like heart disease. That’s why GQ has rounded up the smartest and most comfortable beds to help you get a great night’s rest.

When it comes to a mattress, most people think of the pad you lay on — the piece of bedding that offers support while you’re asleep. But there’s more to a bed than just a mattress, and that includes the frame and headboard. The frame, which can be made of wood or metal and comes in a variety of heights, offers stability and support for the mattress. And then there’s the headboard, which provides a focal point for your bedroom and can be crafted from wood or upholstered fabric.

The type of bed you choose will depend on your personal preferences, sleeping habits and the amount of space in your bedroom. In most cases, the most important factors are comfort, support and durability — but there’s a lot of variation in how those things are achieved.

To be comfortable, a bed needs to conform to your body shape and form a cradle that can distribute your weight evenly and relieve pressure points. This is typically the job of the top layer or what are called the comfort layers of a mattress. The middle or core of a mattress may play a dual role in terms of both comfort and spinal alignment, but this is usually the case with thinner layers.

Another factor to consider when selecting a mattress is how much edge support it has. This is particularly important if you tend to sleep on the side of your bed or share it with a partner. A strong edge will make it easier to sit up or get in and out of bed.

Lastly, the foundation of your bed is the mattress base, which is often a solid platform that supports slats or a sprung base that has individually wrapped coils. Some bed bases are upholstered and offer a more decorative look. Then there’s the bedding, which is typically a sheet set, quilt or duvet. It’s the non-furniture portion of the bed that helps to insulate and protect your mattress and can be washed or aired as needed. In addition to these essential pieces, some beds include a dust ruffle or bed skirt and pillows.